The Telephone Compliance Council has waded into the row over the House of Lords vote in favour of a ban on all cold calling, insisting that outlawing the practice will trigger a fresh barrage of nuisance calls.
Late last week peers defeated the Government by voting for plans to let unsolicited cold calling be outlawed if it could harm vulnerable customers. The House of Lords backed a cross-party amendment to the Financial Guidance & Claims Bill by 253 votes to 205, majority 48.
Ministers offered a compromise, promising future plans to ban cold calls from claims management firms and pensions advisors. But critics said the government must go further.
Lib Dem Lords leader Dick Newby said: “Liberal Democrats are delighted that the Government has had to accept our amendment on this vital issue. Cold-calling is a scourge of modern society and companies flogging financial services often prey on the most vulnerable. This move is another step towards ending the menace of cold-calling once and for all.”
But TCC spokesman said that the Lords decision would be a short term isolated initiative at best, and very hard to implement.
He added: “The reality is that a ban on telemarketing, whether it is opt in based or simple prohibition, will not stop rogues and fraudsters. It is likely to have the opposite effect to what is intended because it will move compliant users of outbound calling out of the way to leave the field clear for rogues to expand activity into.
“Fraudsters are not going to be hindered by telemarketing regulation, and rogue companies fold and start under a new name, or if they are based overseas cannot be touched by UK authorities.”
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